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Mike Morhaime Talks About The Declining Popularity Of MMOs

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 12,599
edited April 2020 in News & Features Discussion

imageMike Morhaime Talks About The Declining Popularity Of MMOs

In an interview at the GamesBeat Summit 2020, former Blizzard President and co-founder Mike Morhaime spoke to New York Times reporter Seth Schiesel about his career. During the chat, Morhaime touched on World of Warcraft and the declining popularity of the MMO genre in general.

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Comments

  • TheocritusTheocritus Member LegendaryPosts: 9,813
    It's been replaced by the Battle Royales.....Last I saw Fortnite was still going very strong.
    alkarionlogborghive49RennisaHuntSPMC
  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member LegendaryPosts: 12,187
    It's been replaced by the Battle Royales.....Last I saw Fortnite was still going very strong.
    Not as strong as it once was. Battle royales are starting to get oversaturated and lose popularity. Like with most things, popularity goes in cycles. MMOs will be popular again. The issue is that all genres have so many different games and they all just... keep coming.. that the only new breakaway genres are the ones that do something "new". 


    PirrayaGdemamiValentinaValdheimRennisaAlomarSinsaiAnskierTEKK3N



  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 3,584
    maybe because the cash shop games are more annoying then they wanted to milk for?
    GdemamiMargraveSinsai
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • xion12121xion12121 Member UncommonPosts: 199
    That's because nothing else good has been out since WoW. I still playing WoW right now until something better comes out. If there was a better MMO out I would possibly leave. The lack of people going to MMOs is not the genre itself, it is that everything else besides Wow is to put it nicely " terrible garbage".
    alkarionlogMikehabentrimGdemamiRennisaMargraveAlomarxpsyncSinsaiHuntSPMCand 4 others.

    I would give you a guest pass to SWOTR, but then I wouldn't be able to find a way to live with myself afterwards....

  • GatsuZerkGatsuZerk Member UncommonPosts: 137
    Oblivious. Everyone is playing "classic" versions of 15 year old MMO's for a reason.
    MikehaGdemamiPanzerbeorne39xpsyncOrthelianSinsaiAreteoHuntSPMCMargrave
  • SpectralHunterSpectralHunter Member UncommonPosts: 455
    The irony of all this is, WoW brought mass appeal popularity to MMOs and they are also the reason MMOs are in stagnation.  
    kjempffGdemamixpsyncOrthelianGatsuZerkMargrave
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,193
    It's been replaced by the Battle Royales.....Last I saw Fortnite was still going very strong.
    Not as strong as it once was. Battle royales are starting to get oversaturated and lose popularity. Like with most things, popularity goes in cycles. MMOs will be popular again. The issue is that all genres have so many different games and they all just... keep coming.. that the only new breakaway genres are the ones that do something "new". 


    They broke a record just a couple days ago. Just sayin. 
    TillerKyleranValdheim
  • sordrossordros Member UncommonPosts: 13
    When is the last time we had a major jump innovation in the MMO market? All I see are imports that are 5-10 years old, quick f2p cash grabs or half finished games.

    If battle royals are so popular put in a battle royal into the game as a battle ground/arena that people can sign up by putting up money (winner takes the pool) and let players have 2 minutes before the battle starts to place in-game money on (bet pays a % of the total depends on how much you put up).

    Either get rid of the level cap and have it skills increase after using them, questing for an npc to teach you a better (skill increase) and other ways. Or you can have a high level cap with each level taking twice or more to level then the previous (EQ hell levels).

    We need a living environment, live invasions, main scenario quest that if they fail have a city wiped out, now a new tent city pops up somewhere to make quest to take the city back or rebuild. This all comes down to a living environment.

    I had hope for VR to bring MMOs to the next level but with wonky movement controls I do not see that happening. So what else are we left with.... to me this would be a living world that changes and no class system. I would rather see no classes and 1000's of different skills that one can grab if they have the pre-req, than items that are so over the top its insane. Why at level 60 I do 2000 damage and now at level 120 I can do 1 mil damage that to much of a jump.

    meh just my ramblings.
    Gdemami
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • BluntedJBluntedJ Member UncommonPosts: 26
    10,000,000 people log in to play ONE game. SUCCESS!

    10,000,000 people log In to play 100 different games. DECLINE OF AN INDUSTRY!
    AlomarCalerxes
  • Viper482Viper482 Member LegendaryPosts: 4,071
    Stop making shit MMOs.....problem solved.
    MikehabentrimkjempffGdemami[Deleted User]KylerandeniterNildenTuor7alkarionlogand 6 others.
    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 11,273






    It's been replaced by the Battle Royales.....Last I saw Fortnite was still going very strong.


    Not as strong as it once was. Battle royales are starting to get oversaturated and lose popularity. Like with most things, popularity goes in cycles. MMOs will be popular again. The issue is that all genres have so many different games and they all just... keep coming.. that the only new breakaway genres are the ones that do something "new". 




    They broke a record just a couple days ago. Just sayin. 



    12 million folks attended the Travis Scott concert in Fortnight. Honestly that game is going no where, it's still just as popular, if not more than ever. MMOs just appeal to a different generation. People either outgrew the genera, and moved on with life, or play old games, or went to play MOBAs. MMOs don't bring too many new folks in anymore.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52410647
    klash2defGdemami
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • foxgirlfoxgirl Member RarePosts: 485


    I don't get this whole declining notion...I log onto FFXIV it's packed and there are queues, I log onto Neverwinter it's packed, I log onto ESO it's a Ghost Town but that's Zo$ fault, I log onto GW2 it;s packed.



    I think MMO's are doing ok personally



    Bullshit it's a ghost town. Either you're intentionally logging into an area that's not used much or you're logging in at some obscure time and crying "dead" .
    keithianTacticalZombehAlomarMowzer[Deleted User]
  • XA20XXA20X Member UncommonPosts: 22
    They are just gonna keep telling themselves it is a dying industry so they can continue to justify anti-consumer practices, never once taking note of the irony that it is those very practices that have "ruined" this genre. I used the term ruined loosely, because even though they continue time and again to abuse their customers, we're still hanging on.. just waiting until the next big thing comes.

    My best guess is that the next big thing that comes about is not going to have a cash shop or micro-transactions or any of the various nickel and dime bullshit that dominates the market now.

    The first developer that returns the spirit of the MMO genre back to their game, and actually expands on ( not simply copying ) what is already the basis of the genre with new and actually innovative gameplay, will be the next WOW.

    If only their greed wasn't so blinding, we'd already be there by now.
    BruceYeekjempffGdemamideniterNildenViper482Areteo
  • bentrimbentrim Member UncommonPosts: 299
    The genre is not dying....the quality is dead! Stop reinventing the wheel! Everyone tried to bring out something different than WOW, EQ, and FAILED. Do what works, give people what THEY want, not what YOU want them to have!!
    GdemamiViper482AlomarAreteoMargrave
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member LegendaryPosts: 9,813
    The irony of all this is, WoW brought mass appeal popularity to MMOs and they are also the reason MMOs are in stagnation.  

    It's ironic but WoW was the best and worst thing that happened to MMORPGs.
    GdemamiTacticalZombehTuor7HuntSPMC
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,556
    LoL the murderer of the MMORPG genre speaking about the death of the MMORPG genre...

    Here's the summary translation...

    "We made the first mega-hit MMORPG then instead of investing in even bigger MMO projects with the billions in cash we made we hired 200k useless employees, gave ourselves huge bonuses and let the entire genre die all while watching our competition fight over our leftover scraps like dogs. I'd do it all over again cause I'm sitting in my cushy study still receiving my payout payments while other developers far more talented are living in studio apartments, hah".

    The victor gets to write the history books as we witnessed in this interview but the upside to WoW's reign of destruction is that they didn't completely annihilate the competition and those that remain are doing a pretty damn good job of holding down the fort. The true MMORPG's that remain have come to terms with reality for the most part and accepted that they will probably never make bags of cash but continue on anyway. Don Amechi I think said in a movie once "A big man knows the value of a small coin" and all the MMO's that have stuck to the original MMO ideas and concepts are the true champions of the genre not this profiteer and the rest of his kind.
    RelampagoGdemamiTuor7AlomarxpsyncAreteo
  • keithiankeithian Member UncommonPosts: 3,191
    edited April 2020


    I don't get this whole declining notion...I log onto FFXIV it's packed and there are queues, I log onto Neverwinter it's packed, I log onto ESO it's a Ghost Town but that's Zo$ fault, I log onto GW2 it;s packed.



    I think MMO's are doing ok personally



    WTF are you talking about. Every time I log in its packed, not to mention the two guilds I'm in shows dozens and dozens of active players 24x7. Stop with the fake news, it's bad enough I see it on Fox.
    Post edited by keithian on
    GdemamiViper482AlomarDinasty

    There Is Always Hope!

  • AldersAlders Member RarePosts: 2,207
    MMORPG's are about the people you play with. The ones still focusing on that aspect are going strong.

    We're never going to get to a point where 10 million people are playing a single MMO again. At least, I don't think we should anyway.

    If every game studio stops trying to make the best game ever for everyone and instead focuses on the core aspects that built the genre, then i'll be happy.

    Stop aiming for 2009 numbers and instead aim for 1999, and slowly build on a strong foundation.
    GdemamiTacticalZombehxpsync
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,630
    It's not entirely lack of interest. I think a big part of the problem is that it is easier to scam and steal than it is to make a mmorpg. 
    GdemamikitaradTuor7xpsync

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • Mylan12Mylan12 Member UncommonPosts: 288
    The irony of all this is, WoW brought mass appeal popularity to MMOs and they are also the reason MMOs are in stagnation.  

    It's ironic but WoW was the best and worst thing that happened to MMORPGs.

     I could not stand WoW myself but I agree that its a lot of the reason MMO are in stagnation. Before WoW, new things were tried and we at least had some innovation.
    Some were not successful because they were bad ideas and some because tech and the net was not up to what the developer want to do.
     I would love to see a game done how the original Horizons was intended.

    After WoW, everyone wanted to be the next WoW and all we got for the most part were poorly done clones of a game that I didn't like in the first place. Some like the LOTRO were more playable though because of the story line.
     
    GdemamixpsyncAnskier
  • klash2defklash2def Member EpicPosts: 1,949
    edited April 2020
    *Drinks Water*

    As long as WoW, ESO, and FFXIV are around I don't think the genre will ever really die. I mean you can clearly see the influence of Standard MMORPG on popular games (Division, Destiny, RDO, GTAO, Warframe, etc)  right now. So for it to be dead, it would mean that there is none of that anywhere, no influence, no games.. nothing. That's dead to me. Those 3 main MMOs would have to shut down to even start the process of it fully dying. 

    I think most of us agree with that.

    But!



    I keep seeing this "we are waiting for the next big thing" conversation

    I want to touch on that here. I don't think there is a Next Big Thing for MMORPGs because MMORPGs don't offer anything novel anymore.



    When I was a teenager in the early 2000s it was novel to play online games with people from other countries. It was mindblowing even. I think the first MMORPG I played was Runescape and I quickly wanted more of it, I moved to EQ, Anarchy Online, and Star Wars Galaxies before finally jumping into WoW. That was a different time socially. We didn't even have WiFi it was all dial-up! No social media.. nothing. Just email, message boards, search engines, and MMOs. haha, It was really amazing in 2001 to load into a world with other people from all over the world. MMOs had that entire online interaction experience to itself.

    That's done now. You don't need to be in an MMORPG to interact online with people. Everything is so connected you can literally press a button and have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with someone in Korea and London at the same time while streaming a GoT marathon. All of you watching the same exact scenes.  Being connected is not novel anymore. Massive worlds are not novel anymore either... I think almost all recent single-player RPG games proved that. The Witcher 3, Skyrim, and Red Dead 2 come to mind immediately. 

    Today I have a 9 and 12-year-old. They have access to the world in their pockets. They were born with it so to them it's not novel to play online with other people. It's normal. I don't think they even own any offline games. Both play Fortnite. Minecraft. Warframe. Destiny and Division. I've tried to get the 12-year-old to play ESO, he has zero interest in it. He is excited about Cyberpunk2077 though. All of their friends play the same types of games. They had a whole virtual party for The Travis Scott event (popular rapper/cool event btw) on Fortnight and they really had a blast. I watched them. They were making moments for themselves. The way I see it, this is their childhood, not mine. It reminded me of when my friends and I used to hook up multiple XB and have LAN parties playing Halo. LOL everyone would tote their TV's to my house on bikes.. smh this was Before the Xbox Live days. Kids on Bikes! You hardly see that anymore. 





    Okay nostalgia aside, for us slightly older folk (and I'm not as old as some of you here) but for us to bitch about getting our childhood back is unfair in many ways to the new generation. Let them have their things, as we already had our time. We cant expect MMORPGs to come back or have some "Next Big Thing" eureka moment. Things don't work like that. They only evolve. As I've said so many times around here, the genre has already evolved past that time not only that but so did the rest of the world.

    People have just moved on and that's okay. 

    Nobody is saying you can't have those style games because they are out there, they just aren't as popular as they once were and probably never will be again. Mainly because they are set up to be time sinks and that is against everything this generation is about.

    So you can have your emulators and your "Classics" just don't expect the WORLD to subscribe to it.  People will check it out but retention will be low as we saw with Blizzards WoW classic project. Less than a year and people are complaining about empty zones and requesting features that are in the Retail Version lol... So yea the novelty wore off quickly I'd say. It was a commercial success though and that's all that matters to Blizzard. It doesn't prove that The MMORPG of Yore is making a comeback.

    I promise you It's not. 

    Fortnite has 250 Million people playing... ( holy shit. )

    Minecraft has 112 Million...

    Warframe has 50 Million...

    League of Legends has 33 Million...

    FFXIV has 18 Million...

    ESO has 15 Million... 

    WoW at its peak had 12 Million.. 12 million. let that sink in. 

    That 12 seems like nothing next to the games of this generation. The shining staple of the MMORPG genre.. the King of the Genre.. never reached the popularity that these games have. Not even close. It felt big because at the time it kinda was, but if WoW came out today instead of the time it did, also consider it wouldn't be one of the first MMOs but A NEW one based on a very OLD RTS game...take away the ADVANTAGE of baby's first internet experiences..  it would have fewer numbers than ESO. Less than 6 Million. There are just too many options now.

    It would still be a success I think, just not a large one. A more moderate success because AGAIN there are people who LOVE that style of game. Mostly older people, but still they are out there. 

    As I say often, most of the developers today are in my age group. Millennials who grew up with dial-up MMORPGs but we also are young enough to hang with the young people who grew up on iPhone games. We get all of it and we are trying to cater to all as much as possible but the reality is, the market is always going to lean towards what the kids want because they are the driving factor even more so today with YouTube reviews and such on what games are successful or not. 

    MMORPGs are not coming back and I say this a lot... find some joy in the new/current things out there or go watch a movie. Bitchin about bringing back that era isn't going to bring it back. It's not for lack of trying either.. every time some developer tries to bring that style back it never works. How come you "Old School" people arent playing f2p Legends of Aria? That exactly what you guys always ask for, it's a UO style game with more features, and it's free but the game is struggling..it only has 200-300 people playing. 

    There is no next big thing for MMORPGs. That's okay. It was a fun ride, the games are niche again and fans of the genre should be happy about that because maybe you get some innovation out of that which could make for some cool games. NO need to chase Fortnite, the popularity may never get there and that's a result of time, technology, and society changes but the idea that it's going back niche may be the best thing that's happened to the MMORPG in a long time.







    Iselinsausagemix
    "Beliefs don't change facts. Facts, if you're reasonable, should change your beliefs."


    "The Society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."



     
    Currently: Games Audio Engineer, you didn't hear what I heard, you heard what I wanted you to hear. 


  • orbitxoorbitxo Member RarePosts: 1,956
    edited April 2020
    When a panda mage interviews an undead warlock....
  • CelciusCelcius Member RarePosts: 1,873
    edited April 2020
    It's been replaced by the Battle Royales.....Last I saw Fortnite was still going very strong.
    Not as strong as it once was. Battle royales are starting to get oversaturated and lose popularity. Like with most things, popularity goes in cycles. MMOs will be popular again. The issue is that all genres have so many different games and they all just... keep coming.. that the only new breakaway genres are the ones that do something "new". 


    They broke a record just a couple days ago. Just sayin. 

    It is also worth noting that with the number of people who play BRs (Well into the 100+m range) even if they lost HALF their audience; they are still among the most popular games out there. Every new BR is doing extremely well, people love that genre. It doesn't matter though as it does not affect people like us who might not be into them. MMOs are still popular, just not as popular relative to the other alternatives. Realistically there are more people playing MMOs right now then there has EVER been.

    GW2, ESO, FF14, WoW, and BDO are all doing quite well. (I may have missed one or two)I am pretty sure there has never been a point in the history of MMOs where this many were doing this well. All of these have great numbers, tons of content, expansions,ect.

    I do think that future MMOs will continue to be rare, but it doesn't mean that they won't work or be successful. I mean, maybe New World will be decent enough to grab a nicely sized audience like BDO's or GW2's, for example.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,856
    The idea that MMORPGs are tired and no one wants them is a false narrative invented by developers who can't take responsibility for their shit not sticking to the wall.
    AlomarGdemami
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